Wire taps of an Ohio family’s phones reveal growing tensions before ‘they murdered eight’

The wife of a man – who, alongside his brother and parents, has been accused of killing eight members of an Ohio family – said she felt like she was ‘living in Nazi Germany’ after they accused her of molesting her husband’s daughter.

In a phone conversation in May 2018, Jake Wagner’s then-wife Beth Ann admitted to him that she felt trapped while living with his parents while he was on the road as a truck driver.

‘I feel like I’m living in Nazi Germany,’ she told Jake, now-29, who took a plea deal in April 2021 for shooting five of the victims.

Beth Ann testified last month that Jake’s mother Angela Wagner, 52, ran the house and had accused her of inappropriately touching Jake’s toddler, Sophia, two.

She also testified that her husband threatened to ‘string me up in the barn, beat me to death with a baseball bat, bulldoze the barn, burn it down, and hunt down and kill my family.’

The Wagner family also accused the men who were allegedly dating Sophia’s biological mother Hannah Rhoden, 19, of molesting her.

The Wagner family has been accused of killing Rhoden and her seven members of her family after her and Jake had a custody dispute.

In a phone conversation in May 2018, Jake Wagner's then-wife Beth Ann (pictured) admitted to him that she felt trapped while living with his parents while he was on the road as a truck driver after they accused her of molesting his daughter, Sophia , two

In a phone conversation in May 2018, Jake Wagner’s then-wife Beth Ann (pictured) admitted to him that she felt trapped while living with his parents while he was on the road as a truck driver after they accused her of molesting his daughter, Sophia , two

She also claimed Jake, now-29, (pictured) threatened to kill her if his mother Angela's accusations were correct

She also claimed Jake, now-29, (pictured) threatened to kill her if his mother Angela’s accusations were correct

Jake and Angela accepted plea deals and have to testify against George IV, 31. Meanwhile, George ‘Billy’ Wagner, 50, is expected to go on trial next year after he and the eldest son pleaded not guilty.

George IV is said to have not fired a single bullet, but was heavily involved in the preparation and cover-up of the alleged murders, his brother testified.

In a separate phone call between Jake and Angela in 2018 revealed the grandmother, who watched Sophia and her other son’s child Bulvine, had the children call her ‘mommy.’

‘You did a really good job, Jake,’ Angela angrily joked in the May 2018 call.

When asked by her son what he did wrong, she replied: ‘Beth is her mommy, I’m her grandmother. Beth didn’t do anything wrong to her ever, it was just Sophie saying that…and she loves Beth more than me and she believes Beth over me because I’m just her grandmother.’

She told her son he had ‘done enough damage’ after allegedly revealing to the children that Angela was their grandmother, which led to George IV’s son also asking questions.

In a separate phone call overheard between the Jake and George IV – who is currently on trial – revealed the latter called Beth Ann a ‘whore’ and insinuated that the younger brother believed his wife over his mother about the molestation accusations.

‘You will not insult my wife,’ Jake told his brother.

‘I will insult your wife,’ George IV had replied.

However, later in the conversation, Jake revealed to his brother that he didn’t trust Beth Ann to take care of his daughter if he went to jail.

‘Would I want her to have Sophia while I was in jail? No. I don’t trust that she would take, or be able to do the right thing with Sophia.’

The alleged killings largely revolve around the idea that the two-year-old was being sexually abused, as she would return to the family with her genital area being ‘red’ and it had ‘strong odors.’

In another phone conversation, Jake and his brother George IV (pictured) got into an argument, where the latter called Beth Ann a 'whore' and both admitted they didn't trust her

In another phone conversation, Jake and his brother George IV (pictured) got into an argument, where the latter called Beth Ann a ‘whore’ and both admitted they didn’t trust her

Angela (left) testified last week that the alleged murder of Jake's baby momma's family was her last George 'Billy' Wagner III's idea (right), as he feared they would retaliate against Jake if he killed Hannah Rhoden, 19

Angela (left) testified last week that the alleged murder of Jake's baby momma's family was her last George 'Billy' Wagner III's idea (right), as he feared they would retaliate against Jake if he killed Hannah Rhoden, 19

Angela (left) testified last week that the alleged murder of Jake’s baby momma’s family was her last George ‘Billy’ Wagner III’s idea (right), as he feared they would retaliate against Jake if he killed Hannah Rhoden, 19

Angela testified last week that the murders were carried out to protect the child, Fox 19 reported. When asked why the family didn’t contact Child Services, she reportedly said she didn’t know.

Hannah, alongside her father Christopher Rhoden Sr, 40, mother Dana Rhoden, 37, and brothers Clarence, 20, and Christopher Jr, 16, Clarence Rhoden’s fiancée, Hannah Gilley, 20, Christopher Sr.’s brother, Kenneth Rhoden, 44, and cousin Gary Rhoden, 38, were all shot execution-style while they slept across four different homes in rural Ohio in April 2016.

Angela also revealed in her testimony that the murder idea came from Billy, as he feared they would seek revenge if Jake killed his baby’s mother.

Angela said that her younger son had wanted to kill his child’s mother, Hannah, but that her husband objected because he believed the woman’s family would seek revenge.

“They’ll know, and then they come for Jake. They’d shoot him, if not all of us,” Angela Wagner said her husband had told her. He also said the rest of the woman’s family “had to be murdered,” she testified.

Hannah Rhoden

Christopher Jr

Hannah Rhoden, the 19-year-old mother of Jake Wagner’s toddler daughter, was shot multiple times while sleeping with her newborn baby. Her 16-year-old brother Christopher Jr., right, was also killed in the killings

Christopher Rhoden Sr.

Dana Rhoden

Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40, and his ex-wife Dana Rhoden, 37, were among those killed in April 2016 in Ohio

Kenneth Rhoden

Gary Rhoden

Christopher Rhoden Sr.’s brother Kenneth Rhoden, 44, (left) and a cousin, Gary Rhoden, 38, were also shot dead.

Clarence 'Frankie' Rhoden, 20, and his fiancée, Hannah Gilley, 20, were shot dead while sleeping with their child

Clarence ‘Frankie’ Rhoden, 20, and his fiancée, Hannah Gilley, 20, were shot dead while sleeping with their child

She accepted a plea deal so she would one day be able to see her grandchildren. The grandmother will be around 80 years old when she is released.

Jake took the stand earlier this month to graphically detail how he shot five people and wounded a sixth. He also testified that his father killed the others and that his brother George IV never fired a single shot but had extensively participated in the preparation and cover-up.

Jake was handed eight full life sentences without the option of parole in 2021 after agreeing to a plea deal with no possibility of the death penalty for himself and his family members.

He pleaded guilty to 23 felony charges, including eight of murder, while his mother pleaded guilty to several counts of aggravated burglary, tampering with evidence and other charges.

George IV is the first person to go on trial for the killings and he has taken most of the blame for the fall, his mother said. George IV faces the death penalty, if convicted.

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